Victims and Villains, a path of resolution

In my life I have been severely abused in all ways, as a child and an adult, in both interpersonal relationships and also in the systems, court and health.
I have also been falsely accused.
Both the victimization and the villainization threatened my life and the lives of others.

As the years of abuse and accusations went by, I finally could only settle back in myself, stop fighting and blaming, and accept.

As I did that I began to feel resignation. In that resignation emerged a different view of my abusers, and my false accusers.
I saw the frenzy of their struggle to abuse and accuse me.
I saw their patheticness. I began to feel compassion for their unending inner struggle.

As I stayed there in that frame of mind and heart, one by one, the abusers stopped abusing me, and the accusers were exposed and turned back on themselves.
The people who had agreed with their accusations against me abandoned them. My false accusers were ostracized from their community of former supporters.

As I regained my health and freedom, I found new communities, new love in my life. Those abusers and accusers remained confused, became ill, died, suffered.
I saw that their hell, and their recovery would be much more difficult than mine.

I grew up practicing Quakerism.
When a case of abuse or crime came before Quakers, we would sit silently in a circle or square with both the victim and the perpetrator present.
Each individual in the group would turn within to their peaceful wise center, in silent prayer, silent meditation.
As the peace grew in the room there was a feeling of relief.

Inevitably, the perpetrator would have tears of regret and remorse, and the victim would have tears of forgiveness.
The entire community would support both in growing and healing, one from the repercussions of being hurt, and the other from the repercussions of hurting others.

Quakers would not fight under any circumstance, and they always resolved wrongs with peace and compassion.

As I am healing through the years of my life, it is always returning to the still point of no judgement, no indignation, no self pity, where I can find peace and strength to forgive myself and others, and to change my experience and the experiences of others for the better.

In 2001 I wrote the Twelve Steps for Abusers and Victims Anonymous. The most revealing step for me was making a sincere moral inventory of the times I had neglected or abused others, and the times I had been neglected or abused.

I was disturbed but also strengthened as I listed my own crimes of thought or action. It didn’t matter that they seemed so slight compared to the crimes against me, they

were my crimes.
I was capable of being my abusers and my accusers.

As I worked to neutralize those tendencies in myself in thought or action, my life became more and more peaceful, my health improved, and experiences of aggression towards me lessened.

Quakerism was founded on the tenet that the flame of Divinity dwells within each person.
In myself I can find both villain and victim, in others I can see both villain and victim.

In myself I can see the flame of Divinity, and in all others, I can also see the flame of Divinity, that transfiguring flame of Divine Love.

Sara Street